George N. M.

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About George N. M.

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    NE Colorado
  • Interests
    Blacksmthing, camping, hiking, historical reenactment

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  1. George N. M.

    Craft vs. Art

    Marc1, you have hit on the real issue that I was trying to make. IMO there are too many people who call themselves artists who are only trying to shock and disgust. If I dump a pile of guts on a photo of (name your least favorite public figure) it is NOT art, it is a pile of guts on a photo, no more, no less. Fortunately, economics enters here. There are few folk who will pay good money for something that is only disgusting or shocking to be seen in their homes and offices every day. And the stereotype of artists being emotionally dysfunctional has some truth in it. Curiously, creativity and emotional turmoil seem to often be linked.
  2. George N. M.

    Craft vs. Art

    The problem I have with the definition of art as being something which elicits an emotion in the viewer is that I have a hard time saying that something results in a reaction of disgust or hate or revulsion as being "art." A positive reaction to beauty or something which makes you thoughtful can IMO be art but not something which brings out a negative reaction. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  3. George N. M.

    Craft vs. Art

    Thomas, as is his wont, has distilled things down to the basics in a few sentences. He has expressed the essence of the creative-real world interface. If all artist blacksmiths were financially independent we would all do what gave us joy and never mind the financial value we would gain from it. If we loved making widgets we'd make them all day and give them all away to anyone we met. If all we were concerned with was financial reward we would only make things that we could sell for the highest price and creative joy and happiness would not play any part. Perhaps that answers my initial question at the start of this thread. Maybe "Art" is that which is created out of the desire to create with no consideration of financial return. If someone wants to buy it, fine, but it was made for other reasons. If it never sells, that is fine too because it accomplished its purpose by being brought into existence.
  4. George N. M.

    Let’s see some fire pokers

    Another observation on the differences between girls and boys: Boys do sound effects, girls do dialog. If you give a little boy two rocks he will bang them together saying, "Bang!" "Koosh" "Boom" "Pow" and other suitable sounds. Give the same two rocks to a little girl and she will have them talking to each other and will come up with an involved backstory for them. In the 90s a friend was going to raise her son in a nonviolent way with no toy guns or other "violent" toys. She did her best until one day at breakfast her son, about age 4, bit his toast into the shape of a gun and started "shooting" things in the kitchen with it. At that point the mother bowed to reality. The son, now in his late 20s, is an avid Wyoming hunter who puts lots of meat in the freezer every fall. "Vive la difference!"
  5. George N. M.


    i think that the real trick is figuring out how much offset you should set into the teeth. I'm sure that ice needs a different kerf width than wood or metal. You might visit some museums and see if you can make some measurements on preserved ice saws. There should be a reasonable number left in Maine. For all that I know there may be extant jigs for setting ice saw teeth. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  6. George N. M.

    How do I harden old railroad spikes?

    Dear Turbo Dog, I am in the process of moving to Laramie. Once I get my shop set up you are welcome to come over and pound hot iron. You may be surprised how hard super quench will harden RR spikes. Did you pick them up along the old Laramie, Foxpark, and Western RR to Centennial and Walden, CO? When coal furnaces and stoves were common every child knew what clinkers were because they had to haul them out. Now, the term is about as common as buggy whip terms. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  7. George N. M.

    Anvil ID

    Dear Thomas, Thank you. That is very cool. I know that Wrights are good anvils and it has served me well over the years. And being an anglophile having a UK made anvil is all the sweeter. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  8. George N. M.

    Can this be done???

    Also, consider what shapes you will need in a swage block for whatever type of smithing you will be doing and then design it appropriately. For example, some smiths might use graduated hemispherical shapes for different sized bowls of ladles, others not so much. I've always thought that many of the round and square shapes in the face of a "standard" swage black were there for "industrial" smithing. If you are repairing steam engines and similar they have a use but for lighter smithing maybe they will never be used.
  9. George N. M.

    Can this be done???

    Dear Peppie, No, a 120 degree shape will give you a "flat" triangular shape. The internal angles of an equilateral triangle equal 180 degrees. Hence, each angle equals 60 degrees. Funny how that high school geometry comes back in useful ways. Look at a triangular file for confirmation. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  10. George N. M.

    Anvil ID

    I checked the bottom of the anvil and it is completely flat with an approximately 1 inch by 1.5 inch vertical hole extending up into the middle of the anvil. I postulate a handling hole. No markings that I can see or feel on the bottom. Yes, there is a shelf on the ends of the base for mounting angle irons (see attached photo). There are what I assume are 2 handling indentations on the sides of the anvil (see 3d photo above) which I have always interpreted as for being where large tongs would attach when the anvil is upside down during manufacturing.
  11. George N. M.

    Anvil ID

    Thomas, I will check tomorrow. G.
  12. George N. M.

    Anvil ID

    Dear All, This anvil has been my primary anvil for 30+ years. IIRC it weighs about 180-200 pounds. I bought it from an antique store in Leadville, CO in the early to mid 1980s. It has absolutely no markings unless there is something under the base and I'm not going to dismount it to look. I'm hoping that someone may be able to offer an identification based on shape and the fact there are no markings. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  13. George N. M.

    Can this be done???

    I suggest that you replace some of the 90 degree triangular shapes with some that are 60 degrees so that you can forge a equilateral triangular shape. Also, I would place the round shapes on the edge in ascending or descending order of size of radius. That way, if you are closing up a round shape such as a socket you can move from one shape to the next size easily. As you have it laid out you might have to go to the side of the swage block or turn it over 90 degrees. Not the most efficient way to do it. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand"
  14. George N. M.


    One last thing: The decision to form a legal entity or pay the premiums for insurance turn on a risk/benefit ratio. You have to decide how much risk you potentially have, how much risk you are willing to tolerate, and how much money and hassle are you willing to pay to reduce that risk. Basically, you have to decide "For what could someone sue me?" and "How much could I lose if someone sued me successfully?" If you are a hobby smith selling a few hundred dollars per year of bottle openers and do dads at craft fairs you probably have very little risk. If you have a large shop with employees and are selling thousands of dollars per year of architechtural ironwork which could injure someone if it failed you probably want as much liability protection because you have larger potential liability and more to lose.
  15. George N. M.


    Dear Jason, The basic concept is that when you form a corporation, a limited liability company, etc. you have created a new legal entity to replace the natural legal entity, you. The legal entity is the owner of the business and has the liability and even if you own the legal entity it stands between you and whoever wants to sue for whatever grievance. It may be easier for an insurance company to get their little heads around insuring the XYZ, Inc. metal fabricating company than John Smith, Blacksmith. As I have said before, the trick to this being effective is to keep your personal finances and the company finances separate. This is where a Certified Public Accountant earns their pay. Listen to him or her.